U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said a lot in a meeting yesterday with The Olympians editorial board. Hes so used to being questioned for his new stance on Iraq that with only the smallest nudge, he launched into a 13-minute rehashing of the situation.
But here seems to the be bottom line: very few people trust President Bush when it comes to Iraq, and Baird says that credibility gap has extended to everything about the Middle East:
Now, like the other night, I talk about the threat Iran poses, everybody stands up and says Oh, yeah, we heard that about Iraq. Time out: The U. N. Atomic Energy Commission believes Iran is a significant nuclear threat. They didnt say Iraq was. Thats a real difference. And if we pretend that because Bush lied once, every other threat isnt real thats dangerous.
We have to set aside our displeasure for President Bush -- and it's beyond displeasure as you know for many people -- and our distaste and our anger at being lied to and say as objectively as we can, whats the situation now and where do we need to go?
Baird was clearly impressed by what he saw in Iraq, you can watch him talk about it in this video. He insists, as well, that he tried to set the agenda for some of his trip. The military, or course, has also taken great care in orchestrating trips for members Congress.
We did not just stay in the Green Zone, we did not just get a power point. We spent a lot of time, 14 days in 4 months, meeting with people from around the region, Baird said.
Indeed, Baird said that many who are blasting him have locked themselves into an exit-only view without considering the consequences: